I find the situation with North Korea very interesting. What we are seeing is the trifecta of political irony. On January 29, 2002, President Bush presented us the “Axis of Evil” at his State of the Union Address. In that address, Bush stated:
North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens…
Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Irainian people's hope for freedom.
Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade…
States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. Source
Everything stated here is true but like most things in life, what one is able to speak can be quite different than what one is able to do. And the Bush administration has shown time and time again that their words and actions rarely align.
By implementing a preemptive war doctrine to deal with Iraq, the administration set the stage for failure with Iran and North Korea. Saddam Hussein was a threat to his neighbors and killed his own people, was in violation of UN resolutions, and was seeking weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons. These were used for the justification of war.
Now we have North Korea, a member of the “Axis of Evil”, testing a nuclear weapon, still starving his own people, and a definite threat in the region. We have Iran pursuing nuclear technology and more than likely trying to develop and nuclear weapon.
The response by the Bush administration is going to the UN. Something they thumbed their nose at when it came to Iraq. There was a diplomatic choice to responding to Iraq but the administration chose not to do it. For anyone to say that is not the case then they only need to look at North Korea. Kim Jung Il is a much greater threat than Saddam could ever have dreamed.
North Korea’s test of a nuclear weapon should shake conservatives back to reality that the world is not black and white and narrowing everything down to simple slogans does not make for a good foreign policy. The “Right” has thumbed their noses at nuances and because of it, the world has gotten more dangerous – despite their spin to the contrary.
I suspect they will blame it all on Clinton or liberals but the fact remains that for the past six years, the “Right” has controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. This is their puppy and at best the Democrats are observers to it all.
President Bush will leave the White House with 100,000 of our troops in Iraq trying to prevent the country from falling into more chaos, North Korea with known nuclear weapons, Iran pursing nuclear technology, the Taliban with political influence in Afghanistan, our government in deficit spending, Medicare unresolved, our economic policy funded by China – and some people will call it a successful presidency.
North Korea’s test is more evidence of our failed foreign policy.